On October 16 a substantial audience welcomed Andrew Newton-Cox, who presented an absorbing and informative talk entitled `Tales from a specialist eating disorders unit’ which was based on Andrew’s first hand experiences with patients within his unit. The audience heard how 725,000 people in the UK currently suffer from eating disorders, the most prolific being Anorexia Nervosa which involves deliberate weight loss.
The scheduled speaker for the 18th September was Maria Byrne, however it was with deep regret that her sudden death necessitated a change. She will be sorely missed by the very many she knew and a commendation to her is here on the TAP web site.
As a consequence TAP is very much indebted to Max Dalda Müller who stepped in at very short notice. Max is a counsellor in addictions and a lecturer in counselling at Bridgwater College. His chosen title for the talk was ‘From Addiction to Recovery’ and as part of his presentation he related in a moving way his own often turbulent life story.
Max summed up addiction as having no control and this lack can apply to anything, be it chocolate, drugs, drink etc. Many theories have been postulated as why people become addicted and he mentioned several including a lack of morals, lack of spirituality, a diseased state, social influence, a learnt experience. However Max’s preferred theory is termed biopsychosocial which covers aspects pertaining to biology, society, and psychology. He maintains all three have to be addressed during treatment to enable a successful outcome.
Max born in Germany moved to Spain at the age of two. His father was substantially absent and resulted in an early separation. However after the death of his stepfather there was a repatriation which was never discussed and as a consequence he suffered repressed emotions.
Like many others at that time in Spain he became politically active and was caught up in the drug scene going from cannabis eventually to heroin. Ending up begging in London with a very low self he was rescued by a PCSO who arranged for therapy. For the first time ever in his life he recognised what being happy felt like. As part of his continuing therapy he now shares his experiences for the benefit of fellow addicts.
There was a sizable audience to hear Max with his warmth and clarity of presentation and this was much appreciated.